Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen - The Rolling Stones

I think for this post, I am going to begin with presenting the set list:

  1. Jumpin' Jack Flash
  2. It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Tumbling Dice
  5. Out of Control
  6. Wild Horses
  7. Can't You Hear Me Knocking
  8. Let's Spend the Night Together (by request, preceded by a snippet of Super Freak by Rick James)
  9. Honky Tonk Women (followed by band introductions)
  10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  11. Happy (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  12. Midnight Rambler
  13. Miss You
  14. Gimme Shelter
  15. Start Me Up
  16. Sympathy for the Devil
  17. Brown Sugar


  1. You Can't Always Get What You Want (with The Calvary Episcopal Church Choir)
  2. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Having seen the Stones before, I had some idea what to expect, but to go out there knowing the four main guys in the band are 71,71,68, and 74 years of age and to see them play and perform with the level of energy that they are performing at for over two hours, there is something really mesmerizing about it.

With more than 50 years of recording, performing, and fans, I suspect if you ask enough people, they could come up with dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of different set lists, all believing that the one they came up with is the definitive one. The thing is, when you tour 50+ years and and especially when you do so few shows across the country, you kind of have to play certain songs and that just leaves very little wiggle room.

In this set, "Out of Control" from Bridges to Babylon was probably the one most from left field. I was sad not to get "Moonlight Mile", knowing they had played it at many of the shows on this tour and if I had one criticism, "Midnight Rambler" went on for 15 minutes; it was great, but all things considered, I'd have preferred it to be 6 minutes and get another song or two,

Let me talk a minute about the musicianship, Keith and Ronnie sound better than ever, they were really sharp and on point. Ronnie's slide playing is as good as anyone's ever was and just really stellar in this show.

I bought these tickets on the first day they went on sale, all shows on the tour went on sale that day. I kind of got inspired by my buddy Dan and while the show was all the way in Buffalo, my thought was that JetBlue usually had very low fares ($69 ea way) to Buffalo from Boston and if for some reason, I decide I can't or don't want to go, I felt I should be able to sell the tickets at the very least, at face value. In fact, the day I bought them, I posted them on StubHub at a ridiculous high price figuring if someone were willing to pay that much, I'd take the profit and be content with having seen them.

I had the tickets for a long time in advance of the show, but as the tour got closer, I wanted more and more to actually go. In fact, since I had been doing this #summerofconcerts tour with my kid, I thought it would be a great experience for her. There aren't a lot of kids her age that will be able to go through their lives saying they saw the Rolling Stones in concert.

As the show was rapidly approaching, you will recall I was put down hard for a bit by pneumonia. I was getting scared that I wouldn't be able to make the long trip - Oh, I forgot, the $69 each way fare was not happening for this time period, plane fares were twice that and so the only way I was going was driving, an 7-8 hour trip! So I have this pneumonia, and couldn't imagine making an 8 hour road trip - a trip so long that I wasn't sure how I was going to manage it in the first place, fully healthy.

I had two nights booked at a local motel, planning to drive up on Friday in advance of the Saturday show. I posted the tickets on Vivid Seats, Stub Hub, Craigslist (locally and in Buffalo) and on Facebook - hoping that someone would buy them so I wouldn't take the loss should this pneumonia keep me down.

Fate wanted me, and my kid, to see this show. the meds took effect and by Wednesday, I knew I was going, no matter what. I am so glad I did!

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